The problem with Parsons

Daryl Morey runs the Houston Rockets like a fantasy league. That’s one of the rallying cries of Morey’s detractors, along with other bon mots like, “he treats players like assets” and “Houston has a crisis of leadership. The problem isn’t that the detractors are wrong. The problem is that they’re probably onto something, and it just bit the Rockets in the backside. But why it all blew up? “Why” is the most important question of all, and it’s been lost in the shuffle. The why is something fans of NBA video games have known about for years. The why is staring us in the face.

There’s a reason that Courtney Lee and Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry and now Chandler Parsons have found other homes. It’s also the same reason that Ish Smith and Jeff Adrien and Joey Dorsey are back in Houston. In the end, it’s a problem born out not of failure, but of the hazards of success. It’s a problem that plagues every would-be dynasty in an NBA 2K association mode. It’s the intersection of personal pride, talent evaluation, player development and the salary cap.It’s the video game problem, and it’s not going to stop any time soon.

Putting aside any speculation about backroom deals handcuffing houston into letting Parsons become a free agent a year early, Parsons is a perfect example of why it’s so hard to hold onto complementary talent for any team, especially the Rockets. Chandler Parsons was picked in the second round and signed to the kind of team-friendly (read: cheap) deal that comes with that territory. He turned out to be a tremendous value for the money, and a total success for Houston. His name became synonymous with second round steals and Houston was lauded for having him on such a low contract.

What everyone forgot was the thing that Daryl Morey is accused of forgetting: that contract is a person. When Parsons expressed his feeling that Houston should have anointed him as the third star, he taught us that his fate in Houston was likely sealed before the off-season even began. Like so many players in Houston before, Parsons wasn’t a star. He’s a great player, to be sure, and a ludicrous steal at under a million dollars a year, but he’s not now and probably will never be worth the $15 million dollar per year contract he received.

We know how his situation played out, but what would have happened had Houston exercised their team option and held onto Parsons at under $1 million this coming season? The most obvious consequence is that he would still be a Rocket. The second clearest consequence is that he would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, a risk that’s greater than most people care to be aware of. The last consequence is that Parsons would have a different but equally compelling reason to be angry at the Rockets.

If Parsons was insulted by the idea that Houston wanted to sign another max-level player before re-signing him, if Parsons had qualms with the idea that he couldn’t carry them to a championship as the third star on the team, he would certainly be upset with a team choosing to pay him less than a million dollars yet again. The move that armchair GMs across the nation cite that Houston got wrong was still going to be a problem either way. Kicking the can down the road would probably have been the better call, but the damage was going to happen either way. Overpay and lower your team’s ceiling or insult one of your key players. That’s the option set faced by Houston over and over.

The reason is that the Rockets are great at identifying and developing talent but lack the team culture necessary to hold onto them. Only the San Antonio Spurs have much success retaining their second and third tier players, and that requires the best Coach in the league and the best locker room guy in history in Popovich and Duncan respectively. For Houston, excellent role players see their game blossom, see the contracts teams want to hand them, and they do what any reasonable person would: they leave. The desire for more money and a bigger role are just normal ramifications of reserves and role players having amazing years.

Having your bench be too good is a problem players of NBA 2K games have wrestled with for years. Players demand more than the team can possibly give them in role, minutes and money. When Morey allegedly treats the team and players like a video game, should we be surprised that the video games predict the problem? The only real solution in the games is to trade those players, and the same goes for the NBA. The reason the Rockets should have kept Parsons on his rookie contract wasn’t to keep him around long-term, or to avoid offending him. Those were both probably lost causes. The real benefit would have been the ability to package him in a trade before he could bolt. And if Morey is as calculation as people think he is? He’s more aware of that loss than anyone else.

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Total comments: 55
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    Great post, JG. BTW, Bradford Doolittle at ESPN has projected Parson's as the 9th best shooting forward in the league. Ariza is ranked 11th. Given the huge disparity in contracts, it seems clear that the Rox made the right choice.

    Glad you guys appreciate the posts--it is a perspective I hadn't really considered until this Summer's events made me curious.

    Parsons as #9, eh? Those lists are very subjective and, these days, convoluted by positional ambiguities. ESPN lists Jeff Adrien as a SF and his PER ranks him in the top 10 of SF's....huh?

    Guys who are definitely ahead of Parsons? Durant, James, George, Anthony, Gay, Batum, Leonard.....I am already starting to feel like I am in the gray area. Jeff Green?

    (Just for fun, ESPN's fantasy player rater has Ariza #6 and Parsons #10...so there's that...)

    Let's forget that stuff and check out some head to head stats for Parsons and Ariza.

    Here is a Win/Loss split for both Parsons and Ariza with Parsons first:

    7hjoVD7.png

    ...and here is Ariza...

    teK9rmQ.png

    you can click on the charts to enlarge them

    While the sample sizes are different (which means these numbers may be meaningless) let's trudge forward anyways. The thing that strikes me is Ariza's stat lines are pretty steady aside from 1 missed fg/game and 1 missed ft/game in losses. His shot attempts and peripheral stats are steady.

    On the other hand, Parsons shows a distinct shift between losses and wins...and it does not bode well for Dallas. His FG attempts increase and he generates 1 extra ppg, but his FG% decreases, rebounds decrease, assists decrease, turnovers increase and pretty much anything negative that can happen does while playing roughly the same mpg. This is a reflection of increased usg% (what Dallas allegedly has planned for him).

    Now, I haven't gone through each game log and seen who might have been hurt, what exact teams we played, or any other factor that could explain some of this. Just looking at it blindly, I like that Ariza seems to be a steady hand win or lose. He is going to show up and do his thing. Morey used to preach variance. I think the move from Ariza to Parsons could signal a shift in his team building. We are no longer looking for variance; rather, we are looking for steadiness and consistency to put around ourvariance guys (Dwight and James).

    I think this is why our team seemed to be in so many lop-sided games last season. If everyone is "on" then we blow a team out and vice versa.

    With this new direction, I believe we will be better equipped to win more often. Why? Because if we presume improved defensive play and combine that with steady, consistent contributions from our role players then we can better withstand the "off" nights from our stars and still win games we would otherwise have lost. Brace yourselves...lots of numbers coming :wacko:

    We were 8-11 in games where Harden shot sub 40% from the field. We were 8-0 when Harden shot 60% or better.

    We were 8-11 in games where Harden scored less than 20 points. We were 17-6 when Harden scored more than 30.

    We were 7-9 when Harden notched 3 or fewer assists. We were 20-9 in games where Harden notched 7+ assists.

    I know--common sense stuff....

    We were 17-8 in games where Harden had 5+ turnovers. We were 11-7 in games where Harden had 2- turnovers.

    This one is counter-intuitive a bit. We were 6-2 in games with 6+ turnovers. We were 4-0 in games with 7+ turnovers. This is why nobody chides Harden for his turnovers as much as the other players. His aggression and play-making generates more mistakes....and more wins.

    I'm getting to a point....I promise. ;) Let's do the same for Parsons.

    We were 12-8 when Parsons shot sub 40% from the field. We were 12-4 when Parsons shot 60% or better.

    *I'm adjusting the points comp because Parsons only scored 30+ twice and we were 1-1 in those games. In fact, I will have to adjust the other numbers as well for scale.

    We were 14-4 when Parsons scored fewer than 12 points. We were 10-8 when Parsons scored more than 20 points.

    We were 7-11 in games where Parsons notched 2 or fewer assists. We were 21-6 in games where Parsons notched 5+ assists.

    We were 19-5 when Parsons had 1- turnovers. We were 1-4 when Parsons had 4+ turnovers. (He had a lot of 2-3 turnover games.)

    Stop right there. Immediately something jumps out. Parsons is a higher variance player than Harden. Harden had 27 games that fell outside of the NBA "bell curve" (40%-60% shooting). Parsons has 36!...and that is out of 74 games, not 82! That's huge. 49% of Parsons' games had him shooting well above or well below average (20 below compared to 16 above).

    Another interesting point is the overall effect each player's performance had on winning. Harden's poor shooting led to a winning% of .421 while his good shooting led to a winning percentage of 1.00. Parsons, on the other hand has a wining% of .600 when he shoots poorly and a winning% of .750 when he shoots well.

    So, while Harden is less of a variable overall--his performance has a much bigger impact on winning% (+.579). Parsons, who is much more variable game to game brings a smaller winning% impact (+.150). Now, I understand that usg% is a factor here. Harden's usg% was 27.8 and Parsons was 19.3--roughly 1/3 less.

    Where Parsons' effect was really visible was in creating for others. When he was racking up assists, we were racking up wins. That has been mentioned as a point of concern by quite a few--there is some validity here. I think Beverley can make up for some and Ariza brings about 3 per game...we'll have to see how this one works out.

    Parsons' turnovers had the normal effect one expects to see.

    I apologize for this huge mess of a post (welcome to my mind ;) ). The point is that I think we have brought in a player who will help us generate more wins overall (and this is before factoring in the defensive upgrade) by virtue of providing a consistent offensive contribution versus a sporadic one.

    Regarding the rankings--Parsons will most likely produce more "eye-popping" stat lines next season and people will see him as "better". However, as Johnny Rocket noted, when looking at contract value and the hopeful improved fit for us in that position we are in great shape.

  • Johnny Rocket says 1 month ago

    Great post, JG. BTW, Bradford Doolittle at ESPN has projected Parson's as the 9th best shooting forward in the league. Ariza is ranked 11th. Given the huge disparity in contracts, it seems clear that the Rox made the right choice.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    the point you have raised is a perspective I had not viewed the love affair the national media has with Parsons from. the way you have laid out the facts for your point was excellent.it makes perfect sense. most of the main stream media watch the nationally televised games and he's putting on a show for them. they are suffering from the grass is greener in somebody else's yard syndrome. excellent point and I agree

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago

    I am sad to see Parsons go but for $15 mill!? See you and good luck! The only thing that is good about that contract is that it makes Harden's contract look like a bargain :)


    The last line refers to Hardens contract looking like a bargain, hence my reply.
  • Steven says 1 month ago

    I was responding to the previous post about Hardens contract.... I guess I have to be as specific as possible if people won't read.

    Agreed then, your statement had just followed Clyde's about Parsons.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I've been thinking about how Harden fared in those games I went over regarding Parsons in this post above.

    These are in chronological order--not in order of descending ratings like the ones above.

    HOU/LAL - 9-24 (3-9 from deep) 35 pts, 9 rebs, 5 asts, 4 stl, 2 blk, 3 to (lost)

    HOU/NYK - 9-17 (2-6 from deep) 36 pts, 9 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 5 to (won)

    HOU/DAL - 6-14 (2-8 from deep) 23 pts, 1 reb, 8 ast, 1 to (lost)

    HOU/CHI - 7-13 (1-4 from deep) 22 pts, 4 reb, 6 ast, 3 stl, 7 to (won)

    HOU/SAS - 11-16 (3-3 from deep) 28 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast, 2 blk, 2 to (won)

    HOU/OKC - 6-16 (2-8 from deep) 16 pts, 7 reb, 8 ast, 3 to (lost)

    HOU/GSW - 14-27 (3-8 from deep) 39 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast, 1 stl, 2 to (lost)

    HOU/MIA - 7-16 (5-12 from deep) 30 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 4 to (lost)

    Let's see how that averages out:

    28.6 ppg, 5.4 reb, 5.1 ast, 1.3 stl, 0.5 blk, 3.4 to on 48.3%fg (36.2% from deep)

    For comparison, here are his season averages:

    25.4 ppg, 4.7 reb, 6.1 ast, 1.6 stl, 0.4 blk, 3.6 to on 45.6%fg (36.6% from deep)

    All in all, he played above average in these games. I don't know what to make of it. I think people dislike the appearance of his game--the free throw shooting, the offensive flopping, the defense, the aloofness....

    I would like to add that of these 8 games, 6 were on the road. 4 were the second night game of a back-to-back (3 of which were on the road). One was during the Asik/Howard trial period. Not making excuses, but I think we all agree that these things are factors in winning and losing over the course of a season.

    Regarding the perception of Harden--I guess if you are looking at him through MVP-glasses then yes, his stats are a tad underwhelming and the 5 losses are not good either. I'm excited to see him play this season...especially after reading all that praise from Coach K.

    Ultimately, I have concluded that the difference in perception between Parsons and Harden comes down to a sub-conscious, superficial judgement based on their hair. Parsons' hair (GQ faux-hawk with George Michael perma-stubble) is appealing to people. James' hair (Mr. T faux-hawk/epic beard) is awesome, but is also a tad gnarly and not as easy on the eyes. :P

    Chandler+Parsons+Paranoia+Premieres+LA+Pjames-harden-8.jpg

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I was responding to the previous post about Hardens contract.... I guess I have to be as specific as possible if people won't read.

    $15M/year for a player that is in the MVP discussion is already a bargain. Under a $90M cap, that's just a steal.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago I was responding to the previous post about Hardens contract.... I guess I have to be as specific as possible if people won't read.
  • Steven says 1 month ago

    Once the Cap rises to 90 mil his contract will be a bargain.

    Dirk and Timmah!!! for $10M, that is bargain. Parsons for $15 will replace Amar'e as the worst contract in the NBA.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago Once the Cap rises to 90 mil his contract will be a bargain.
  • clydesmoustache says 1 month ago I am sad to see Parsons go but for $15 mill!? See you and good luck! The only thing that is good about that contract is that it makes Harden's contract look like a bargain :)
  • txtdo1411 says 1 month ago

    Really nice post JG. I hadn't really thought about which games had the most national viewers, and how much of an impact his performance during those games affected the public perception. His three point shooting was insane in most of those games, so I can see how that can skew the opinion of a non-Rockets fans.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I did not see the game the other night, so I haven't seen the added weight, but that would be an interesting way to go. I don't remember him posting up much at all here. That would be something we did not utilize at all during his tenure if he can be effective from the block in Dallas.

    I also agree $15M for a player that transforms you into a contender is an easy sell, but I was unaware Parsons was that kind of player. I mean we were about to massively overpay for Bosh, but he made us an instant contender so we were all on board with it. I guess the general public agrees with Cuban and that Parsons does vault them into the contender status. I just don't see it. We will see come regular season. For all I know, I could be that bitter ex-gf just thinking of all the flaws during our relationship just to make myself feel better.

    Hold up there...I'm not saying he is that kind of player either. I think most fans have not really seen him play aside from highlights. Check out this info. on team TV ratings: LINK

    The Rockets rank 9th in the league, but that number is skewed beyond belief--we are still 4 spots below "average" because it is so top heavy.

    Here is a breakdown of every single nationally televised game from last season along with ratings. LINK Houston had a total of 7 games that scored an above average rating (avg. is 1.956M viewers). Of those games, the highest was HOU vs. SA on Christmas day. Here are all 7 in descending order:

    HOU/SA (12/25) Won 111-98

    HOU/MIA (3/16) Lost 104-113

    HOU/LAL (11/7) Lost 98-99

    HOU/DAL (11/20) Lost 120-123

    HOU/NYK (11/14) Won 109-106

    HOU/GSW (2/20) Lost 102-99

    HOU/CHI (12/18) Won 109-94

    (bonus 8th game because it came in just under the average ratings score)

    HOU/OKC (1/16) Lost 92-104

    So, the 8 games people saw the most from our season were these. We went 3-5 in those games, beating CHI, NYK, and SAS ( meaning we pissed off two large markets while getting no credit for SA because--as always--no one cares about SA until they win another championship). Meanwhile, we got beat by media darling teams like Golden State, Miami, The Lakers, and Dallas (which only matters here in Texas).

    Is it any surprise that we get zero respect nationally? That was our showing--for the most part--from last season.

    Now, let's look at what Mr. Parsons did in those games. Again, in descending order.

    8-14 (5-9 from deep), 21 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast, 1 to

    4-9 (0-1 from deep), 9 pts, 1 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl, 2 to

    6-11 (1-3 from deep) 16 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 to

    7-10 (4-5 from deep) 21 pts, 5 rebs, 11 asts, 4 stl, 2 to :o (no surprise, this was against DAL...they liked what they saw)

    7-11 (2-5 from deep) 22 pts, 2 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 0 to

    8-24 (3-10 from deep) 21 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast 1 stl, 1 blk, 3 to

    8-14 (3-4 from deep) 19 pts, 9 reb, 3 ast 1 blk, 2 to

    4-13 (3-9 from deep) 14 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 4 to.

    Some of those stat lines are superb! Really, there were only two duds and they came against MIA and OKC. Over the 8 games, Parsons averaged this line:

    17.9 pts, 4.8 reb, 4.4 ast, 1.6 stl, 0.25 blk, 1.9 to on 49% shooting ( 46% from deep)

    For comparison, his season averages are:

    16.6 pts, 5.5 reb, 4.0 ast, 1.2 stl, 0.4 blk, 1.9 to on 47% shooting (37% from deep)

    Well, is it any surprise the average NBA fan thinks Parsons is a star? Given the public perception that between McHale and Harden no player can prosper here it all paints a pretty picture. Add to that a decent playoff showing and here we are--everyone thinks he's going to break out....except most of us who have watched him the last 3 years who think this is about as good as it gets.

    Again, I don't think anyone is saying Parsons isn't good and I think most everyone wanted us to keep him moving forward. What we're dealing with is some really good PR/marketing versus the old adage about coveting a hot girl...you know the one....you see some girl and think she must be the best thing ever....just remember....somewhere, some guy is sick of her.

    Parsons has joined the enemy and I look forward to the next years of competition between us and them. I hope he does well (except against us) and nothing would make me happier than meeting them (and beating them) in the WCF's on our way to the NBA Finals.

  • txtdo1411 says 1 month ago

    I think Parsons and Monta will primarily be options 1-2 through the first 40 minutes of the game, but Dirk is one of the best late game players over the last few years. They would be crazy not to ride him down the stretch. I really do think it will be a lot like it was here. He will get his turns being a 1-2 option, but he will wind up #3 overall. Maybe Carlisle has a plan that will utilize Parsons' talents better than we did. Personally, I don't think he is quick enough to beat most SF's off the dribble so maybe they put him in the post? The extra muscle he has added plus his height could help there.

    I think paying a player $15M if he transforms your team into a consistent winner is an easy sell. I think the Mavs would need to finish in the top 4 for that to happen though. The good news for Parsons: Raymond Felton will be playing the role of scapegoat this season. B)

    I did not see the game the other night, so I haven't seen the added weight, but that would be an interesting way to go. I don't remember him posting up much at all here. That would be something we did not utilize at all during his tenure if he can be effective from the block in Dallas.

    I also agree $15M for a player that transforms you into a contender is an easy sell, but I was unaware Parsons was that kind of player. I mean we were about to massively overpay for Bosh, but he made us an instant contender so we were all on board with it. I guess the general public agrees with Cuban and that Parsons does vault them into the contender status. I just don't see it. We will see come regular season. For all I know, I could be that bitter ex-gf just thinking of all the flaws during our relationship just to make myself feel better.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    Completely agree that Hayward on the Bobcats was a really good fit. They would have been a very exciting young scrappy team.

    Regarding Parsons, Is he going to be their 3rd option? I don't necessarily see how Cuban can sell the fan base and organization on paying $14+ mill., paid way more than Ellis and Dirk, for a player that will be your 3rd option. Unless he is a helluva defensive player as well, which Parsons hasn't been for the last two years. I mean it makes sense for Dirk and Ellis to be "the guys" there, because they can create their own offense, and Parsons hasn't shown that ability consistently. Just seems to me Cuban (and Parsons himself) is expecting more than just being an off-ball player. That would essentially be the same exact role he had here. Only at 14 times the cost.

    I think Parsons and Monta will primarily be options 1-2 through the first 40 minutes of the game, but Dirk is one of the best late game players over the last few years. They would be crazy not to ride him down the stretch. I really do think it will be a lot like it was here. He will get his turns being a 1-2 option, but he will wind up #3 overall. Maybe Carlisle has a plan that will utilize Parsons' talents better than we did. Personally, I don't think he is quick enough to beat most SF's off the dribble so maybe they put him in the post? The extra muscle he has added plus his height could help there.

    I think paying a player $15M if he transforms your team into a consistent winner is an easy sell. I think the Mavs would need to finish in the top 4 for that to happen though. The good news for Parsons: Raymond Felton will be playing the role of scapegoat this season. B)

  • txtdo1411 says 1 month ago

    I was actually bummed when Utah matched Gordon Hayward's contract from Charlotte. I thought he would have been a great addition for them. Going from #1 guy on a bad team to #3 guy on a playoff team is huge. I think he would have made their offense exceptionally good---much like Parsons did for us.

    Now, Parsons may wind up in the same boat in Dallas--Dirk and Monta are still the lead guys. Parsons is a solid off-ball player and with Dirk/Monta drawing defensive attention he should get open looks from 3 and easy baskets cutting to the rim. We'll find out. It might be a great fit that allows him to excel and return fair value for his contract. The important question is how it affects the win column.

    Completely agree that Hayward on the Bobcats was a really good fit. They would have been a very exciting young scrappy team.

    Regarding Parsons, Is he going to be their 3rd option? I don't necessarily see how Cuban can sell the fan base and organization on paying $14+ mill., paid way more than Ellis and Dirk, for a player that will be your 3rd option. Unless he is a helluva defensive player as well, which Parsons hasn't been for the last two years. I mean it makes sense for Dirk and Ellis to be "the guys" there, because they can create their own offense, and Parsons hasn't shown that ability consistently. Just seems to me Cuban (and Parsons himself) is expecting more than just being an off-ball player. That would essentially be the same exact role he had here. Only at 14 times the cost.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I agree as well. Parsons' value was always in his contract. He produced more than anyone could have imagined for a 2nd round pick. That being said, he didn't produce up to what his current contract value is at. He now has, for the first time in his career, a lot to live up to. That makes the need to produce up to expectations much higher. How he handles that pressure, and if he can increase his usg % without much of a drop in efficiency remains to be seen. I like Parsons as a player, but I would be lying if I said I hope he succeeds in Dallas. Dallas is my least favorite team in the league by far. It doesn't help that this whole off-season has made me even more of a spiteful person against the media and public perception. Both seem to think that Parsons is awesome and will take the Mavs to the next level. I'd love for both to be horribly wrong, and witness the Mavs come crashing down this year.

    I was actually bummed when Utah matched Gordon Hayward's contract from Charlotte. I thought he would have been a great addition for them. Going from #1 guy on a bad team to #3 guy on a playoff team is huge. I think he would have made their offense exceptionally good---much like Parsons did for us.

    Now, Parsons may wind up in the same boat in Dallas--Dirk and Monta are still the lead guys. Parsons is a solid off-ball player and with Dirk/Monta drawing defensive attention he should get open looks from 3 and easy baskets cutting to the rim. We'll find out. It might be a great fit that allows him to excel and return fair value for his contract. The important question is how it affects the win column.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @txtdo1411

    I'm with you on Dallas. it isn't that Parsons left. it's the fact he went to Dallas. I know the above board thing to say would be I wish him well, but....... :lol:I too would be lying if I said it :lol:I agree the media is acting like we loss Lebron. I think he has gone from being undervalued to being overvalued. his production will not reach star level. he's not that type of player. however he rode the pretty boy good locker room leader, all around indispensable glue image to a huge payday. good for him, but I still hate Dallas. I want them to fall flat on their faces. I admit it. I think Dallas will live to regret that contract. their expecting him to offset a lot of productionthe team lost during the summer. going from the #3 man to the #2 man is a bigger jump than many seem to acknowledge. when defenses turn their attention to him will he respond? he has a good coach so if it's possible Rick will get it out of him, but then again you can't get blood from a turnip..............we'll see.

  • txtdo1411 says 1 month ago

    @Johnny Rocket

    "the adjustment he faces is a lot bigger than many espn writers acknowledge" .................totally agree.

    I agree as well. Parsons' value was always in his contract. He produced more than anyone could have imagined for a 2nd round pick. That being said, he didn't produce up to what his current contract value is at. He now has, for the first time in his career, a lot to live up to. That makes the need to produce up to expectations much higher. How he handles that pressure, and if he can increase his usg % without much of a drop in efficiency remains to be seen. I like Parsons as a player, but I would be lying if I said I hope he succeeds in Dallas. Dallas is my least favorite team in the league by far. It doesn't help that this whole off-season has made me even more of a spiteful person against the media and public perception. Both seem to think that Parsons is awesome and will take the Mavs to the next level. I'd love for both to be horribly wrong, and witness the Mavs come crashing down this year.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @Johnny Rocket

    "the adjustment he faces is a lot bigger than many espn writers acknowledge" .................totally agree.

  • Johnny Rocket says 1 month ago

    I don't hate Parsons, either, and I don't mind players taking some significant coin (however small in percentage terms) from a guy like Cuban. I think it is fascinating to see what will happen. It could work out great for Parsons, but it could be a disaster. It is one thing being the scrappy underdog/2nd round draft choice, but now with a near-max contract, there will be significant pressure to deliver well beyond what he did in Houston. What happens if he can't deliver, or has more problems that he anticipated in adjusting to a new system and a new role? What happens if Dallas fans to start to get on him a bit if he starts slowly? I don't know the answer to these questions--for all I know, Parsons becomes an All-Star--but the adjustment he faces is a lot bigger than many ESPN writers acknowledge.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @TTDN

    what Parsons hate? :huh:even though I hate the team Parsons plays for (and it's owner) I still like Parsons, however when his steps on that court against the Rockets I will only be able to see that D on his chest. he has defected to the enemy :lol:

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago Lol at the parsons hate.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    did Parsons bulk up or is he getting fat enjoying the spoils of that fat contract?

  • Johnny Rocket says 1 month ago

    I haven't seen the new Parson's yet, but bulking up is an interesting strategy for him. It seemed to me that a big part of Parson's value on the Rockets was on the break--he ran the floor really well, and the open floor displayed his athletic abilities and his strong court vision. But Dallas isn't going to be a fast-break team with guys like Dirk, Felton, and T. Chandler playing big minutes, so Parson's needs to switch focus to a half-court game where he can post-up smaller wings or slide over and play "four" when the Mavs go small. It is a big gamble if the extra bulk slows him down even a little bit.

  • Red94 says 1 month ago

    Parsons seemed to have really bulked up this offseason, based on last night, but not sure if it was in the good way.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    had to bump this thread. JG your post was on the money. I couldn't agree more. I expect for this to be one of the main issue to be addressed in the new CBA. right now it's moreprosperous for a player to hit UFA than accept a contract extension.......I'm sure the owners will want to change that. also it may be address by letting the team with bird rights do 2 extra years instead of one and on more than one player. the plan was to keep one team from hoarding all the talent, but it has backfired. there will always be collusion, but right now it's near out of control

  • Dusty says 2 months ago

    @thejohnnygold

    I agree completely. The 'blame' (if it is a blame) goes out to the fans, the owners, and the GMs. We all share in this. I also agree that things have changed. The rate at which players change teams seems to be frequent. I'm not sure what the stats are on this, but it's getting increasing harder to associate teams with a few players.

    Moving forward, I think the Houston Rockets are going to be Harden and Howard. They will be the two faces of the team. Everyone else will rotate in and out to support them. Sad to see Parsons, Lin, and Asik go regardless of whose fault it is. That being said, it's good knowing that they're human and all three were upset for not being part of Houston. They all wanted to stay in Houston (as starters), which is a nice sentiment.

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    If everybody were paid the same the bigger markets would have a much bigger monopolization of talent.

    The collusion is already happening as is the bigger markets monopolizing talent (currently that is not the case, but I would say that is due to terrible management in LA and NY--that will rectify itself in due time).

    I wasn't putting it forth as a panacea; rather, it was a solution to the free agency gold-digging that was being discussed. If there is no financial incentive to leave then other factors become more important such as quality of life, chance of winning a championship, playing time, and team friendships.

    GM's are forced to evaluate talent not only in the context of X's and O's but in dollars and cents. If all pay was equal then only the X's and O's remain.

    Again, this returns to assets. Since only a championship will satisfy the blood-thirsty masses and championships (pretty much) require having star players and star players require max money teams are unable to hold onto their valuable role players. Those guys want their slice of the pie too and will leave to go get it. Does Parsons leave for Dallas if the money is the same? Dragic? Probably not.

    The idea is, once you have constructed a team that is a true contender you can keep it together for the most part as players have little incentive to leave aside from a starting role for a bench player or a city with a better quality of life. Let's be honest--would you rather be in Detroit, Minneapolis, or Miami? Going back home would be an incentive (obviously), but chasing money would be out--and that would be huge.

    Mo Williams is taking a lot of heat right now for "leaving" Portland. It's unfair criticism. He is a league vet who can still contribute solid minutes. However, Portland has to consider their future and that future is LMA, Lillard, and Batum first and foremost. They can't tie up their cap space in Williams. He wanted to stay, but he also is looking for the best offer. Someone will pay him what he wants--it just won't be Portland.

    Other teams have been doing this---Houston, for whatever reason, is being bludgeoned to death for it. OKC did it with Harden. Miami did it with Mike Miller. Boston did it with their Big 3. Denver has done it. Dallas and Chicago too.

    It makes David Stern's famous "basketball reasons" line that much funnier. More decisions get made for financial reasons these days than basketball reasons. Jeremy Lin playing with the second unit: basketball reasons. Jeremy Lin getting traded to the Lakers: financial reasons. Omer Asik getting moved:basketball reasons. Chandler Parsons:financial reasons.

    Players are going to collude. It is already illegal. The writing is on the wall. Players with shared agents conveniently seem to keep getting "scratch my back, I'll scratch yours deals". The entire Miami Heat ordeal. How can the league stop it? The bigger question is: do they really want to?

  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago If everybody were paid the same the bigger markets would have a much bigger monopolization of talent.
  • Losthief says 2 months ago

    good points jg, but i disagree about paying them the same as a simple cure, cause then you run into the colluding and super teams and lack of competition due to all the players who could play together if they were all payed the same. These superteams would kill the chance of other teams winning the campionship.

    Now, pay them the same, no free agency....*shrug* has its own set of problems with unequal drafts/talent.

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    I agree with the articles and most of the posts here. It was good for the team to let Parsons walk. I also don't blame Parsons for walking either.

    That being said, the fact that players are treated like assets is probably the worst aspect of professional sports to me. I hate it. College sports has their share of problems, but professional sports is so impersonal. I came to this team when it was Harden, Lin, Asik, and Parsons. I loved their youth and team play. Asik with his floppy hair, Lin with his crazy un-controlled drives, Parsons looking beautiful, and Harden just tearing up the court. I mean, that was the core and I got attached to these players. Now, the team is completely different. I think it's easier to deal with larger teams like in Baseball and Football, because each year, the team retains a certain number of players, but Basketball has 5 players starting. I love the sport, but it's just ... what team is this? I need time to adjust...

    I understand your perspective, but it is important to view things from the other side. Imagine a world, an NBA, without trades. The NBA has worked hard to give players a modicum of power in determining their own fates through free agency, opt-out clauses, the players' association, and other things. Teams have had to react to this in kind--they have a job and a goal to achieve.

    In the scenario you somewhat allude to, a player could very well be drafted out of college and wind up living the next 15-20 years of their lives in a place they are not happy, on a team with poor management, and, ultimately, in a career that is squandered. Look no further than Kevin Love as exhibit A.

    Having but one place to truly ply their trade, they must accept certain aspects of this. Yet, the majority of us can choose to accept or decline a job if it requires us to move to an undesirable place--not so much in the NBA.

    The players have been given the ability to maximize their income by leveraging teams against one another. What is an NBA team to do?

    "Assets" has become a buzz word wielded to vilify NBA ownership. All the while, the majority of players snatch up every cent they can, hold teams hostage forcing trades, blatantly collude (against NBA rules) to join forces, and "magically" seem to play better in contract years. This is a two way street and viewing GM's negatively for doing their jobs is nothing more than fashionable right now--it lacks much merit.

    If NBA GM's are guilty of viewing players as "assets" then it must be said that NBA players are guilty of viewing the teams they play for as ATM's. To compare NBA players to "gold-diggers" is not a big stretch. Amercenary is also an apt description.

    A simple cure would be to pay every player the same amount--regardless of status--and let them use the fame their success and TV exposure provide to market themselves in other ways. It's not like making $4,000,000 a year to play basketball professionally is a bad thing.

    The money is too big. The entitlement is out of control. The fans are left on the outside looking in trying to figure out a way to be emotionally invested in a corporation. Really, nothing has changed--it has just sped up. Teams were always going to cycle through players over time as no one can play forever. What used to be a 8-12 year cycle is now often a 4-6 year cycle.

    Also, it must be noted that fans are somewhat to blame. The "only 'chips matter" mantra that has become common throughout nearly all teams' fan-bases forces management to operate this way. Putting a solid team on the floor, built through the draft, that works hard, competes well, and is a model for its community both on and off the court is not enough if they don't win a championship.

    That is where things got off track....everything else is a by-product of that. We forgot what community sports were all about and I'm not sure we will ever get it back. If we do, it will start with the fans--not the other way around. Trust me when I say the NBA is giving the people exactly what they want--most of them, at least. When the majority of people (meaning consumers) shift towards a different culture--the NBA will be quick to follow. It is a big part of what has made them so successful.

  • Dusty says 2 months ago

    I agree with the articles and most of the posts here. It was good for the team to let Parsons walk. I also don't blame Parsons for walking either.

    That being said, the fact that players are treated like assets is probably the worst aspect of professional sports to me. I hate it. College sports has their share of problems, but professional sports is so impersonal. I came to this team when it was Harden, Lin, Asik, and Parsons. I loved their youth and team play. Asik with his floppy hair, Lin with his crazy un-controlled drives, Parsons looking beautiful, and Harden just tearing up the court. I mean, that was the core and I got attached to these players. Now, the team is completely different. I think it's easier to deal with larger teams like in Baseball and Football, because each year, the team retains a certain number of players, but Basketball has 5 players starting. I love the sport, but it's just ... what team is this? I need time to adjust...

  • Buckko says 2 months ago

    The best PF in the game and top 5 player ever along with arguably the best coach ever don't grow on trees. It makes things much easier when you do have them. Unfortunately if you don't you're stuck with the other 28 teams in the same boat

  • adonneus says 2 months ago

    New user here. I haven't really commented much since I'm probably more of a basketball newb than anyone else here, but I'm really grateful for this article. It has been stated over and over that the Spurs strategy cannot be replicated, but I didn't understand why until now. Re-shaped my view of the Rockets' current situation and of the economics of the league. Thanks!

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago Asik played about 15 meaningful games during the regular season and the Rockets offseason approach with him didn't work. He turned out to be expendable, he didn't fit and his worth as a team player didn't move the needle.

    Also, there is a topic for World Cup.

    Who cares about Parsons guys, really. His fame chasing has got to make for good jokes on the court. He leaves himself open to ridicule.
  • NorEastern says 2 months ago

    I do find this incident interesting. I personally thought Parsons would have more loyalty than that. Of course his ambition and thirst for celebrity were on display for all to see. With Ariza on board losing Parsons is less damaging than losing Asik. We will be seeing a weaker Rockets team in the 2014-2015 season.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago

    So what are your thoughts on Team USA's practice today? Think harden and Rose will be the starting backcourt?


    Idk. I think it might be rose/curry. Curry is a better shooter and Coach K really emphasizes that. Who starts at PF? Is it KD with George at the 3? I think it will be

    Rose
    Curry
    George
    Durant
    Davis
  • RudyT1995 says 2 months ago

    If we're criticizing players' choices with regards to their personal lives, it's kind of hypocritical to not mention that harden reportedly pays for his girlfriends.

    Why don't we just avoid these types of issues and focus on basketball?

    That's just it. This isn't his "personal life". What it really is is a transparent attempt to be mentioned in the tabloid press and become more famous.

    He should focus on basketball, not on starting a second career as a reality tv personality.

  • Steven says 2 months ago

    If we're criticizing players' choices with regards to their personal lives, it's kind of hypocritical to not mention that harden reportedly pays for his girlfriends.

    Why don't we just avoid these types of issues and focus on basketball?

    So what are your thoughts on Team USA's practice today? Think harden and Rose will be the starting backcourt?
  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago If we're criticizing players' choices with regards to their personal lives, it's kind of hypocritical to not mention that harden reportedly pays for his girlfriends.

    Why don't we just avoid these types of issues and focus on basketball?
  • RudyT1995 says 2 months ago

    Meh. It's the offseason and she's good looking. Go for it CP.

    It just shows how desperate Parsons is to be famous off the court. If he wanted to date a hot 18 yo he could be dating almost anyone, it didn't have to be a Kardashian.

    Everything that's happened since he signed the Mav's offer makes me glad that we let him go.

  • slick shoes says 2 months ago

    This is all I need to know about Parsons.

    http://www.people.com/article/kendall-jenner-chandler-parsons-flirt-dinner

    Good riddance.

    By-the-way, I don't normally follow people magazine. The headline popped up in my Rockets news feed.

    Meh. It's the offseason and she's good looking. Go for it CP.

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @RudyT1995

    "I don't normally follow people magazine"............yeah right :lol:then why the disclaimer? no shame in following people magazine if that's your thing :lol:just messing with you

  • RudyT1995 says 2 months ago

    This is all I need to know about Parsons.

    http://www.people.com/article/kendall-jenner-chandler-parsons-flirt-dinner

    Good riddance.

    By-the-way, I don't normally follow people magazine. The headline popped up in my Rockets news feed.

  • Jatman20 says 2 months ago >I would add (NBA.com) Ariza was 11th in the league in catch and shoot; while it lists Parsons as 45th. Let us not forget that Parsons had severe back spasms in week two I believe; which flared up again on X-mas day vs the Spurs. Although not career ending, statistics show a high reoccurrence within a year. Maybe a higher risk for a $15 mil price tag. Not to say Ariza will be injury free....knock on wood.
  • Losthief says 2 months ago

    -it said it posted the comment successfully (from main site not forums) but never showed up, this is a re-write....so if it appears eventually...sry for the double post and delete one:

    @ttdn

    Why are people saying Ariza is a better SF?

    -per game/over all-

    Ariza 15.8 per

    14.4 pts 6.2 rbs 2.5 asts 1.9 stocks 1.7 tov 40.7% 3pt 44.6% corner 3pt 8 win shares (ws) .141 ws/48

    Parsons 15.9 per

    16.6 pts 5.5 rbs 4.0 asts 1.6 stocks 1.9 tov 37 % 3pt 42.7 % corner 3pt 7.6 win shares .131 (ws) ws/48

    -per 36 min- (parsons 37.6 min per game, ariza 35.4 min per game)

    Ariza

    14.6 pts 6.3 rbs 2.5 asts 2.0 stocks 1.7 tov

    Parsons

    15.9 pts 5.3 rbs 3.9 asts 1.5 stocks 1.9 tov

    -per 100 poss- (this adjusts better for our quicker pace last year (5th for HOU/19th for WAS)

    Ariza

    20.9 pts 9.0 rbs 3.6 asts 2.8 stocks 2.5 tov

    Parsons

    22.0 pts 7.3 rbs 5.3 asts 2.1 stocks 2.6 tov

    So why parsons, he's younger (25 versus 29) and he creates more assists/ballhandling (which hurts us to lose) and is better at creating for himself/own shots

    Yet, in ariza we get someone who is a equal/better win shares, equal/better 3pt shooter, and a better defender (which is huge for us, we go from having 2 plus defenders and 3 non-plus defenders in the starting lineup to 3 plus defenders and 2 non-plus defenders (and one at each tier, pg, wing, big), big diff.)* And even more key is the fact that we get him at 53% of the price and a savings of 7 million a year. So next year i would expect about equal production, and although by the end of the 4 years, Ariza likely declines by age 33 and parsons improves slightly by age 29 what we do with the 7 million a year difference can make up for such changes, but thats something we will have to see/hope for. Also....how much will parsons really improve at this point unless he remembers how to play defense again.

    Also, to those who say arizas stats are in a contract year, so were parsons, but more importantly ariza per 36 numbers are roughly consistent with his past, he just saw an uptick in minutes and a slight uptick in points due to the increase in 3pt %. And his corner 3pt % actually slumped a bit last year (which is the role/key shot for rockets he will fill) and as long as he has been assisted on 3's at his normal rate (.955+) percent he has always shot above 38% on 3's (higher than parsons last year), the only exception being the year in HOU were his assisted 3's rate was (.846). (counted since his first time he played actual minutes at age 22/23 on LAL). So we have a bad taste in our mouths cause the dude cannot and should not try to create his own shots, but he's a very productive player all the same.

    -All Stats from Basketball-Reference-

    *This is why i think harden will have a uptick in his apparant defense next year, because individual defense is completely tied into team defense and this is without the outside chance that our 4 spot improves to a defense nuetral slot or better. So with more plus defenders we should be able to hide/obscure harden's deficiencies better (a la steve nash on the suns) so he will appear to be a better defender. But that is another post for another day.

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @TTDN

    he wanted Parsons, just not for 15 mil per

  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago Moreys comments about being tradeable means that he didn't want parsons. He wanted him as a trade chip. Let's not pretend otherwise. I don't blame Morey, but I do think parsons made the right choice for himself.
  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @rocketrick

    totally agree..............TOTALLY. I also like the points by Doug and SeanNeutron. I think Parsons was a legion in his own mind :lol:15 mil is not just overpay...........it's grossly overpay.

    @slickshoes

    as for that contract...........UNTRADABLE is accurate. that 15% trade kicker for starters. if we had traded Parsons during either of the first two years of his contract we would owe him an extra 6 million dollars in addition to his 15 mil per. also the contract had a player option for year 3 which means he can opt out after his second year and try to re-up after the new TV deal and at the same time as D-12, plus that player option made him worthless on trade market because he would only be a rental to any team interested. A 21 MILLION DOLLAR RENTAL...........THAT'S UNTRADABLE :lol:even if we get somebody to bite it would be because we attached draft picks to him. however even if his contract didn't have the trade kicker or the player option I just don't see Morey paying 15 mil for Parson before acquiring his third star. I lean more to what Forrest said..........the writing was already on the wall we just didn't see it. Parson like many before him thought he was worth more than we did. at some point that was bound to create a problem

  • rocketrick says 2 months ago

    New post: The problem with Parsons
    By: Forrest Walker


    When Morey allegedly treats the team and players like a video game, should we be surprised that the video games predict the problem? The only real solution in the games is to trade those players, and the same goes for the NBA. The reason the Rockets should have kept Parsons on his rookie contract wasn’t to keep him around long-term, or to avoid offending him. Those were both probably lost causes. The real benefit would have been the ability to package him in a trade before he could bolt. And if Morey is as calculation as people think he is? He’s more aware of that loss than anyone else.


    I think Forrest hit the nail right on the head in that the Rockets most likely next move with Parsons would have been to trade him before the February trade deadline.

    Can anyone just imagine for a moment the dissension within the team that would have caused mid-season? If we think the acrimony after Parsons leaving to Dallas was bad, I believe it would have been much worse during the season.

    Obviously, as Forrest also clearly lays out, the biggest problem is that the quality of role players that Houston has brought aboard only to lose later has been excellent. Of course, all of them wanted to be paid and none really fit into Houston's long-term plans.

    I am glad that Morey and Alexander made the tough call in cutting ties with Parsons now and I have faith they will continue finding the next diamonds in the rough going forward that will also probably end up playing on other teams at some point since pretty much all players out there really want to get paid more than anything. The Spurs are the exception (and Dirk) and I believe Morey has to plan his next moves assuming that the next Parsons isn't going to settle for a below market contract and just continue dealing with bringing in new players and improving the roster year to year.
  • SeanNeutron says 2 months ago I agree doug. We all got attached and loved his game especially for that value. While I didnt want to lose him, his game doesnt warrant that $$$$. He'd be the best 3rd or 4th option in the league had it worked out differently. But his irrational confidence thinking he was their third star is amusing.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago Why are people saying Ariza is a better SF? He is a better fit playing alongside Harden as he is better at converting open looks and plays strong defense, but I'm struggling to understand why people are saying he's better.
  • slick shoes says 2 months ago

    One thing I have yet to see many people discuss is Morey's quote about the contract being "untradeable". This, to me, indicates that he saw the high likelyhood of another team becoming increasingly interested in Chandler and us using him as a trade piece, NOT as an anchor to our roster. The contract wasn't "limiting our future flexibility" or any other variation, it was "untradeable".

    Let it simmer.

  • Doug says 2 months ago

    I think these are excellent points.

    Also, let’s not forget that, moving forward, we have a better small forward in Ariza. He’s a slightly better offensive player and a much better defender. The only thing we lost by allowing Chandler to leave one year early is some extra money. But that only matters if that cost savings would have allowed us to upgrade the roster in a way that we still can’t. I don’t see, however, who we would have picked up with the seven million dollars we cost ourselves with the Ariza upgrade. And while we lost Parsons as a trade piece, I’m not sure that really matters. Who would he have been traded for? The only candidate that makes sense is packaging him (and other assets) for someone like Love. But that package would still pale in comparison to what other teams are offering. (It's also worth noting that, had we lost Chandler next year, I'm not sure there's any obvious small forward candidate that brings to the table what Ariza does that we could grab at his price.)

    I think people have grown irrationally attached to Parsons because we’ve been following him for three years. We also keep telling ourselves that he was such a great value. But, taking a step back, this is likely going to be a situation in which we consider ourselves very lucky in a couple of years.